Jeanne Noonan for New York Daily News
These students at Manhattan Academy of Technology make sure milk does your body good. Pictured: Haoming Liu, 12, Jenny Chen, 11, Tiana Diaz, 12, Desmond Lai, 12, Michael Monticciolo, 12, Matthew Tomita, 12, Lily O'Donnell, 12, Stuart Bruce-Nobel, 11, Cameron Tang, 11, and Harry Freedman, 10.
These kids have a sweet idea for sour milk.
A group of pint-sized inventors from a Manhattan middle school won a prestigious prize for devising a product any mother would love: a pitcher that alerts you when milk has gone bad.
The Manhattan Academy of Technology students’ “smart milk pitcher” earned runner-up honors at the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Awards, besting more than 250 teams from 15 countries.
But these future Einsteins aren’t gloating over their achievement. Using the $5,000 in prize money, the students are already fine-tuning the design.
“We’re going to work on it a bit more and then get it patented,” said a confident Stuart Bruce-Noble, 11.
The group of 10 sixth-graders started working on their intelligent milk pitcher last fall.
That’s when the organizer of the competition, the non-profit FIRST, announced that this year’s challenge would focus on food safety.
The brainy bunch of students got their inspiration for the device from a troubling news story: Several California kids fell ill after drinking contaminated milk.
“I wanted to do something about it,” said Jenny Chan, 11.
Under the guidance of technology teacher Hau-yu Chan, Jenny and her pals put their heads together and dreamed up the revolutionary milk container.
Made with eco-friendly plastic and glass, the pitcher is designed to detect PH levels in milk.
When the milk turns sour, the pitcher’s elaborate alert system is automatically triggered.
“It has a flashing light for people who are deaf, and we also have a low frequency alarm so people who are blind can use it,” said Michael Monticciolo, 12.
The experience has left Harry Freedman and his fellow inventors dreaming of pursuing careers in engineering.
“Inventing things is pretty cool,” the 10-year-old said.
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